2-year-old Texas boy shot to death by 2 gunmen during alleged home invasion robbery gone awry
Ivory West Jr., also known as TJ, his father, and a friend were sitting in the garage of their townhouse near Houston when they were ambushed by two men, who approached them and opened fire
In what appears to be a home invasion gone awry, a two-year-old Texas boy was shot to death while his father and another individual sustained critical injuries. Ivory West Jr., also known as TJ, his father, and a friend were sitting in the garage of their townhouse near Houston when they were ambushed by two men, who approached them and opened fire, stated a People report.
While paramedics pronounced TJ dead at the scene, his father had to be airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital-Texas Medical Center in critical condition with multiple gunshot wounds. Meanwhile, the father's friend is currently in stable condition after being shot in the leg.
"This is unacceptable," Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday, July 3. "This is our community and when you are shooting kids… this is senseless and unacceptable. I know our community joins us in saying that this has to stop and we've got to get these people off the street and hold them accountable."
"They really are crossing the line when they are out there committing these crimes," he added. "And again we are seeing way too much gun violence, especially focused on our children. There was no reason that a two-year-old had to be dead this morning."
Authorities say the motive so far appears to be robbery. "The garage door was up and maybe they were just victims of opportunity," Gonzalez said. "We will determine as we go on if there were any other motive or connection to it. The main goal is to first find out who did it."
According to Sheriff Gonzalez, the mother was upstairs with her two-month-old baby and heard fireworks before the shooting took place.
"[Fireworks] is indeed a consistent thing we heard," he said. "Several people heard some fireworks going off prior to the shooting. We don't know if it was a random act or maybe some type of ploy to distract people. But there were some fireworks that went off."
Gonzalez said the boy's mother subsequently went downstairs and was accosted by one of the suspects, who reportedly demanded money from her at gunpoint. "It was a very brazen attack," said Gonzalez. "They came in guns a blazing."
Police described the suspects as two African American males aged between 25 and 35 and standing 5 feet 11 inches to 6 feet tall. Furthermore, they said one suspect was wearing a red cap and grey T-shirt while the other wore a black hoodie with Nike in gold letters emblazoned in the front.
"These are very dangerous individuals that I think collectively we must all be concerned about," Gonzalez said. "We are going to do all we can to make sure we solve this case. Every shooting we take very seriously. Every death we take very seriously. But this is unacceptable when a child is involved. This is personal to all of us."
Anyone with information about the suspects is urged to contact the sheriff’s office at 713-221-6000 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-8477.